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Green-winged teal

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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 10:52   #1
jeff
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Green-winged teal

Question:

What's the difference between green-winged teal and common teal, the only thing i can see by looking at pictures is a white patch either going vertically or horizontally.
Is there anything else or is that it?
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 10:56   #2
Michael Frankis
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Hi Jeff,

That's about it. At close range, the pale lines between the green and brown on the head are narrower in Green-winged, but this is fairly subtle and may not be 100% reliable.

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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 10:57   #3
Colin
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Jeff,
The Green-winged Teal wont have the brown and green markings on the head of the male 'picked out' with a sort of dark yellow as much, if you see what I mean. You need to look close though.


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Jeff,
Michael and I posted at about the same time but Michael has described the situation better than I did.
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 11:22   #4
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Thanks i see what you both mean about the head markings.

One day it'll all sink in and i'll wont need to ask as many questions :-) that day's still along way off though.
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 12:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff
Thanks i see what you both mean about the head markings.

One day it'll all sink in and i'll wont need to ask as many questions :-) that day's still along way off though.
This might help Jeff, it's not yet in full plumage (still coming out of eclipse) hence the reduced white mark at the sides of the breast, but you can see what the guys were talking about.
I took this in Cornwall 2 weeks ago.
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 12:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJW
This might help Jeff, it's not yet in full plumage (still coming out of eclipse) hence the reduced white mark at the sides of the breast, but you can see what the guys were talking about.
I took this in Cornwall 2 weeks ago.
I think if i'd have seen it, it would have just gone down as a teal, but now i notice the difference(s).
The only reason i asked was i too recently went to Cornwall, not really birding though, but had a meal at the Old Quay Inn,Hayle (never again) where a green-winged teal had recently been seen, so was currious to know the differences.
Maybe i'll pay teal a bit more attention next time i'm looking through them.
I did ask a couple of birders what was about and they only mentioned a couple of ruff, so i guess i didn't miss it.

Thanks again for pointing out those differences, it's always nice to see them side by side, makes it easier on the eye.
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 12:46   #7
Jane Turner
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Is anyone else noticing a developing trend towards mixed character birds.
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 15:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff
The only reason i asked was i too recently went to Cornwall, not really birding though, but had a meal at the Old Quay Inn,Hayle (never again) where a green-winged teal had recently been seen, so was currious to know the differences.
And guess where this one was photographed Jeff!
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 16:19   #9
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There was a bird showing mixed characters in North Lancs a few years ago when there was also a genuine GWT in the same area. How many are you seeing Jane?
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 21:46   #10
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I'm mostly reading descriptions of birds that don't rule out hybrids.. I think a couple of the Cheshire birds in the last year were not 100%. Ducks do tend to spread their genes about. Remember all the grey ducks at Aber!
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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 21:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane Turner
Remember all the grey ducks at Aber!
Wish I did! Before my time (well, my birding time at any rate - if you mean what I think you mean).

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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 22:20   #12
Michael Frankis
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I've always thought that Black Duck should be dumped as just a race of Mallard - after all, female Black Ducks actually PREFER to pair up with drake Mallards, over drake Black Ducks (well, who looks nicer, do you blame them, but it does show an important genetic point!).

Why is it, that Black Duck and Mottled Duck are treated as species, but the nearly identical Mexican Duck is treated as a race of Mallard?

And I'm also far from convinced that splitting GW Teal was the right thing to do.

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Old Friday 31st October 2003, 22:57   #13
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Hooray! Someone who doesn't want to split everything in sight!

I must admit I sympathise with the chap who told me the other day that he only recognises two species: quackers and tweeters.

But I don't know that it's right to say that Black Ducks actually prefer Mallards on their home grounds - even though they might not be over-choosy. I know there was a lot of worry about hybridisation some years ago, but I thought that had now been allayed to a large extent. (I'm probably wrong, though.)

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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 00:34   #14
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Agreed about the Black Duck / Mallard, Michael!

They interbreed and their offspring are fertile. I even use this in teaching as one example of a single species, for exactly this reason!

The result of this interbreeding is a series of forms, all along a scale from pure Black to pure Mallard. People here have produced some nice photos for observers to carry in the field. Using the pics, you can place a bird on this spectrum.

Surveys have shown that the "contamination" of Black Duck by the introduced Mallard is mainly around cities - for the time being.
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 07:46   #15
Andrew Whitehouse
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I heard of a Teal that had a vertical white stripe on one side and a horizontal stripe on the other.

Last edited by Fifebirder : Saturday 1st November 2003 at 07:48.
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 09:23   #16
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If you take the fertile offspring rule for species...there is only one duck and one goose!

I think there have been some silly splits recently...I mean Hooded Crow! But I also think that be birds species in the process of speciating or just well-marked races, there is value in attempting to identify at the lowest level possible.

I've always been very duckist, I should warn you!
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 09:59   #17
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Hi Jane

Sorry to come in on this thread late,you only have to go down to your local pond to see hybridisation.For example yesterday I was watching a MandarinxMallard hybrid & on the same pond several AylesburyxMallard hybrids.I think mallard will try to spread their genes with what ever is around at the time.
Regards Steve.
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 16:56   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufus
Agreed about the Black Duck / Mallard, Michael!
Hi Rufus,
I was actually referring to American Black Duck (Anas [platyrhynchos] rubripes) here - I presume you're referring to Pacific Black Duck (A. [p.] superciliosa)? - but even if you are, looks like the same applies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevo
For example yesterday I was watching a Mandarin x Mallard hybrid & on the same pond several Aylesbury x Mallard hybrids.I think mallard will try to spread their genes with what ever is around at the time.
Hi Stevo,
I'd be doubtful about the Mandarin Duck x Mallard hybrids, as Joern Lehmus has mentioned that Mandarin Duck has never been hybridised with any other duck, as it has an unusual chromosome set which makes hybridisation with other ducks impossible.
Aylesbury is just a domesticated breed of Mallard, not a seperate species at all, so when they mate with Mallards, the results are cross-breeds, not hybrids (like crossing say, a Labrador with a Collie - both are dog breeds, the result is a cross-breed, not a hybrid)

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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 19:19   #19
Jane Turner
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Smew and Goldeneye have hybridised...and as for Aythyas
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 19:33   #20
Michael Frankis
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True, but they don't do so as a matter of preference, nor abundantly - it is no more than the occasional act of desparation. With the Black Ducks, in many areas, the majority are hybrids, not odd ones now-and-then. And I reckon that's significant. It shows that their mating behaviour has not evolved any effective degree of separation.

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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 19:53   #21
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Hi Michael

Thanks for clearing that up,I haven`t a clue then because the duck I saw was roughly Mallard size,orange legs,with a warm brown colour all over, & a similar face pattern to a female Mandarin.I will try to get a photo next week.

Regards Steve.
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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 20:00   #22
Michael Frankis
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Hi Stevo,

Thanks; it'll be interesting to see the pic!

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Old Saturday 1st November 2003, 20:43   #23
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Yes, Michael, Pacific Black Duck is the one chatted up by Mallard here.

Jane, I think the "fertile offspring" rule is fine (as far as it goes; it's not a lot of help to palaeontologists, of course, and there are other limitations).

We can see there is not "one duck". The question is: what is the taxonomic status of what we see? If they are all subspecies or varieties, so be it. The species is the least subjective of all taxonomic levels, and I think the concept should, as far as possible, be uniformly applied across all animals and plants.
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